Ashland, Kentucky

Blast Furnace Outage

Client / Owner

AK Steel Corporation




Graycor Industrial

Project Scope

Graycor Industrial Constructors recently completed repair and maintenance work on AK Steel Corp.’s Amanda Blast Furnace at the steelmaker’s Ashland Works facility located in Ashland, Kentucky. A major portion of the work involved descaling and relining the 30‐year‐old protective brick covering the inside of the blast furnace. Other integral work included repairing various parts of the hearth furnace top, along with replacing the slag pit wall with new sheet piling.

Working 24 hours a day, crews kept the fast‐track project going throughout the 27 days of the schedule. In all, more than 89,000 man‐hours were performed by Graycor Industrial personnel and subcontractors. Through the team’s creative construction solutions, the project was completed ahead of schedule by 27 and a half linear hours.

One key construction solution developed specially for this project was a foldable circular work platform measuring 25 feet across and weighing approximately 25,000 pounds. Because of the small entry point into the furnace, the platform was designed and built to collapse, enabling crews to move and strategically place it into position within the furnace. Once inside, the semi‐circular-shaped sides of the platform were unfolded and attached to a chain/cable system. With its circular shape and adjustable height, the platform helped workers to reach upper levels of the cylindrical furnace wall without adding time and expense needed that would have been needed with a typical scaffold system.

Because the project was highly involved and on a fast‐track schedule, crews were required to be constantly alert and aware of potential hazards and hindrances that could impact work.